This title was first published in 2000: A guide to the changing place of political parties within the Italian political system, seeking to shed light on how the parties operate and their role in the country's politics. Starting from a recognition of the traditional centrality of parties in Italian political life, the book's main focus is on the consequences and causes of the transformation in the party system which began to unfold from 1989 onwards. Arguing that the latter has its roots in the specific choices made by the traditional parties as they attempted to adapt to change in their electoral environment, the book then proceeds to examine what effects the changing party system is having on such traditional, "party-driven" features of Italian politics such as "sottogoverno" and "lotizzazione" and on the functioning of such institutions as parliament and the executive. The book concludes by attempting to assess whether parties are still central to political and civil society or whether their role has diminished in importance.
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